My father used to sing in the shower.
I know that sounds kind of ordinary. Probably lots of people sing in the shower. But when my father was in the shower he didn’t sing just “ordinary” songs.
He sang opera.
He was terrible. But he was loud.
When I married my third husband, an opera aficionado, we would go to see a Puccini opera, or a Verde opera, or some other kind of opera—and sure enough, I’d recognize the tenor’s main aria from when I was a kid and my father sang in the shower.
He was big on arias, especially from Italian operas. After all, he was a native speaker—why the hell wouldn’t he sing Italian arias?
When he was outside the shower, however, my father sang other stuff.
Torch songs. Love songs. Gershwin. Cole Porter. Songs like, “You Turned the Tables On Me” and “Blue Moon” and “We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When.”
He loved to sing. Period.
I think, in fact, that’s why he and my mom gave me piano lessons. Not so I could learn to play the piano, but so I could accompany my father.
“Sit down and play your old man a song,” my dad would say, which meant, “Sit down and accompany me while I sing.”
Truth is, I loved hearing my dad sing. It made the whole world seem like a happier place when he belted out his tunes—he wasn’t a crooner, he was a belter-outer. He’d take any chance he got to find an audience too, like the neighbors across the street, or the backyard barbecue.
“Just hum a few bars,” he’d say, “And I can sing it.”
There probably isn’t a WWII song I don’t know all the lyrics to, which blows my husband away, but I learned them from hearing my dad sing them—over, and over, and over.
In fact, I think singing is so important that if a person cannot sing, they should not run for president. I mean, Obama can sing; nobody can deny that. Just imagine what kind of campaign it would have been if singing were a requirement.
When I married the first time, we couldn’t afford a piano, and my first husband definitely didn’t sing. He always made a joke that the nuns would tell him to “just mouth it” in church choir practice.
I should have known right then and there that he would be my “first” husband.
Then there was my second husband.
Well, let’s just say he loved to sing, but couldn’t. Besides, listening to someone singing old 1960s anti-war songs didn’t exactly recapture the joy of my filled-with-wonderful-Italian-opera-and-fabulously-lavish-love-songs youth.
But then, along came the guy I’m married to now. My third husband.
Suffice to say, he’s the one who unlocked all the repressed—Oedipal?—sexuality I was feeling when my father sang.
Boy, can this husband sing—and believe me, he doesn’t need the shower. Soft crooning, with rounded baritone notes all the way up the scale to his falsetto tenor—he can take me on a trip to outer space and back, just by humming “My Funny Valentine.”
He’s not big on lyrics. But he’s big on humming and—of all things—whistling. Yep. He’s so good at whistling, he whistles Beethoven and Mozart while he’s cooking.
Very sexy. Singing and cooking. What more could a girl ask for?
Okay, there are a couple of other things…
But just let me say this—my husband’s really good with his hands too.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Image: Instagram @czboogie
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina